Rahu - Ketu's Kalam and Deepam:
According to Indian Astrology each day each planet has its maximum impact or dominating time that may last for an hour or two. It is believed that people have to submit themselves to such testing time or seek Parikaram - some sort of remedy from the bad effects.
No Hindus have the courage to carry out good deeds like travel, new business deal, marriage proposal, etc during Raghu Kalam. For the Atheists, it is nothing short of superstition and there are no such things as good times and bad times in daily life governed by the celestial bodies tens of thousands of miles away. Raghu and ketu are considered as celestial bodies by the Indian Astrologers. Astronomically, Rahu and Ketu denote the points of intersection of the paths of the Sun and the Moon as they move on the celestial sphere. Therefore, Rahu and Ketu are respectively called the north and the south lunar nodes. Because of the prevalence of negative elements during Raghu Kalam, any adventures taken during that period, will normally end up in failures. No Hindu weddings shall be conducted during Raghu Kalam. Some auspicious events such as mass prayers, temple consecration - Maha kumbabisekam or starting of a temple festival, etc are never conducted during this period.
To ward off or to nullify the negative effects of Rahu's dominant period, lighting a deepam at the time of Rahu Kalam in a temple dedicated to Goddess Durga is commonly done by the people.
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Oil and lamps:
According to the Hindu religious scriptures only certain oils are used to propitiate the deity and some oils are never used either in temples or in houses for pooja. Groundnut oil or corn oil is never used for oil lamps.
Cow's ghee is believed to give gentle radiance and heavenly bliss; common ghee - wealth, health and happiness; gingerly oil/Sesame oil is believed to remove unforeseen dangers, inauspicious / unwanted events; castor oil is supposed to bring in fame, peaceful, happy family life and spiritual enlightenment.
Oil lamps and directions:
Oil lamps (actually the wicks), it is quite pertinent, should be placed in certain directions to achieve the positive effects. Mind you, never direct the oil lamp towards the South. It is not only in-auspicious, but also against the invocation of the almighty. Choose the following directions to face the wicks in the oil lamps:
For success in all ventures undertaken most preferable direction is North; for good health and peace of mind - East; for freedom from debts / financial burden and victory over enemies -West.
Wicks and Deepam:
Yet another aspect of deepam is the nature of wicks and the number. Cotton wicks are normally preferable for pooja purposes. As for numbers, normally two wicks are used, representing the male and female aspects, symbolizing the family.
Single wick (Eka Mukha deepam) is for basic benefits; two wicks (Dwi Mukha deepam) is for harmony, peace in the family and cordial relationship with relatives; three wicks (Tri Mukha deepam) is for future generation; four wicks (Chathur Mukha deepam) brings in required prosperity and enough food for the family members. Five wicks (Pancha Mukha deepam) will bestow all kinds of aishwaryam or wealth; six wicks (Shan Mukha deepam) is meant for imparting knowledge, wisdom and vairagyam - commitments and also renunciation.